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Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts is a global, luxury hotel brand with a relatively small footprint. The chain’s name comes from a mythical place featured in the 1933 novel, “Lost Horizon,” by James Hilton.
Golden Circle is Shangri-La’s rewards program, offering loyal guests private in-room check-in, complimentary suit pressing and much more. Members earn points during their stays with Shangri-La, as well as at the hotel restaurants, bars and spa facilities. Points can be used towards free hotel stays and upgrades, along with frequent flyer points with airlines like Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia.
Find everything you need to know about Shangri-La Golden Circle below.
CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is offering 80,000 bonus points (worth up to $1,600 in travel per our valuations). You’ll need to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening to qualify for the bonus. These 80k points are redeemable for $1,200 toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This is a premium travel card with a premium annual fee of $550. But, you’ll receive premium benefits such as 5X points on air travel, 10x points spent on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit, 3X points on all other travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
The card also features an application fee credit (up to $100) for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®, access to 1,300+ airport lounges with Priority Pass Select, and 50% more in travel redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards. With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more for existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
|Personal Credit Cards||None|
|Business Credit Cards||None|
|Redemption Options||Transfer to airline miles, free nights, upgrades, hotel dining & spa vouchers, Klook travel, lifestyle electronics, donations|
|Value Per Point||Depends on the frequent flyer program you transfer to|
Shangri-La Hotel Brands
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts is based in Hong Kong and has over 100 five-star, luxury properties with more than 40,000 rooms in Asia, North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. Shangri-La brands include Shangri-La Hotels, Shangri-La Resorts, Traders Hotels, Kerry Hotels and Hotel Jen.
Shangri-La guests enjoy world-class service, along with tranquil surroundings highlighted by inspirational architecture and design.
Golden Circle Elite Status
When you join Golden Circle, you automatically become a Gold member. Above that are two status tiers: Jade and Diamond. To move up a tier, you must clock in a certain amount of nights or a certain number of stays within one calendar year:
|STATUS TIER||MINIMUM QUALIFICATION|
|Jade||20 nights or 10 stays|
|Diamond||50 nights or 25 stays|
Once you unlock a tier, you’ll have that status until the end of the following calendar year, and you’ll enjoy the following status benefits:
|GC Award Points earning||1x points||25% points bonus||50% points bonus|
|Pre-register for easy check-in||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Priority check-in & check-out||–||Exclusive area||Exclusive area,|
|Early check in/late check-out||–||11am/4pm||8am/6pm|
|Breakfast benefit for partner staying in the same room||–||Yes||Yes|
|Daily buffet breakfast||–||Café Restaurant||Café Restaurant|
& Club Lounge
|Upgrade, if reserved room is not available||–||Yes||Yes|
|Club Lounge access||–||–||Yes + 1|
|Pressing for one suit upon arrival||–||–||Yes|
|Use of selected resort facilities||–||–||Yes|
|Complimentary meal for kids under 6 years old||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cash advance with applicable credit card surcharge per stay||Up to|
See the full list of member benefits here.
Earning GC Award Points
Get Golden Circle (GC) Award Points when you stay with Shangri-La, or when you stop in to enjoy a meal, a drink or a treatment at the spa. But keep in mind, there are no Shangri-La properties in the United States. As such, Americans will have a hard time racking up on GC Award Points, unless you frequently travel to destinations with Shangri-La properties.
Earning Airline Miles for Shangri-La Stays
If you don’t see yourself earning too many GC Award Points, you can opt to receive airline miles for your Shangri-La stay instead. Simply present your frequent flyer membership card when you check-in.
|FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM||EARNING RATE|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||500 points per stay|
|Air China PhoenixMiles||800 kilometers per stay|
|Air France & KLM Flying Blue||500 miles per stay|
|All Nippon Airways Mileage Club||500 miles per stay|
|American Airline AAdvantage||500 miles per stay|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||500 miles per stay|
|China Eastern Miles||800 points per stay|
|China Southern Sky Pearl Club||800 kilometers per stay|
|Delta SkyMiles||500 miles per stay|
|Emirates Skywards||500 miles per stay|
|Etihad Guest||500 miles per stay|
|Finnair Plus||1,000 points per stay|
|Gulf Air Falconflyer||500 miles per stay|
|Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club||800 kilometers per stay|
|Jet Airways InterMiles||500 miles per stay|
|Korean Air SKYPASS||500 miles per stay|
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||600 points per stay|
|Oman Air Sindbad||500 miles per stay|
|Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles||500 miles per stay|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1,000 points per stay|
|Qatar Airways Privilege Club||500 miles per stay|
|SAUDIA Alfursan||500 miles per stay|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||500 miles per stay|
|South African Airways Voyager||500 miles per stay|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||500 miles per stay|
|United Mileage Plus||500 miles per stay|
|Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer||1,000 points per stay|
Shangri-La & Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: Infinite Journeys
In an epic partnership, Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines have joined hands to give you even more benefits and rewards for your loyalty. You’ll get:
- 2x the recognition: Enjoy accelerated membership status in both Golden Circle and KrisFlyer.
- 2x the rewards: Earn both GC Award Points and KrisFlyer miles when you stay at Shangri-La.
- 2-way redemptions: Convert between GC Award Points and KrisFlyer miles easily.
Redeeming GC Award Points
Most U.S. residents transfer their GC Award Points to airline miles. Almost all Golden Circle airline transfer partners convert at a 1:1 ratio. For example, you can transfer 3,000 GC Award Points to 3,000 American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or Etihad miles, or 3,000 Virgin Australia points.
Otherwise, you can redeem your GC Award Points for room awards, upgrades, hotel dining and spa vouchers, or on a selection of travel experiences by Klook, Bowers & Wilkins premium sound products and other lifestyle electronics. If you’re feeling altruistic, you can donate your points to charities or the corporate social responsibility project.
GC Award Points Expiration
GC Award Points expire on December 31st, three calendar years after the year they were earned. For example, any points earned in 2021 will expire on December 31, 2024. Make sure to use your points before they expire, because there are no ways to reinstate them once they’re gone.
Golden Circle Tips & Tricks
Make the most out of your Golden Circle membership with the following tips and tricks.
Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy (& More) Transfers
You can’t do a direct transfer of points between Golden Circle and American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards or Marriott Bonvoy, but there is a clever, roundabout way to do it.
The strategy involves Infinite Journeys and the ability to easily convert GC Award Points into KrisFlyer miles and vice versa. You see, KrisFlyer is a transfer partner of all five major rewards programs we mentioned above. For free nights at Shangri-La, transfer your loyalty points to KrisFlyer miles and then convert to GC Award Points. Voila!
Golden Circle Promos
Like other hotel loyalty programs, Golden Circle runs promotions from time to time. Current offers include a double-points promotion on all qualifying Shangri-La stays until August 31, 2021, as well as a double-elite-nights deal on all qualifying Shangri-La stays until July 31, 2021. Check the Golden Circle offers page here.
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts is not a massive chain, but they do have premium, five-star accommodations in popular destinations worldwide. Unlike most hotel loyalty programs, Golden Circle members have the option to earn frequent flyer currency on hotel stays. We recommend Shangri-La’s rewards program especially to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer members to take advantage of everything Infinite Journeys has to offer, including the ability to convert GC Award Points to AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy points (and vice versa).
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